For the Williams Martini team Friday practice for the 2018 Spanish Grand
Prix would be marked by the return of Robert Kubica, who would replace
Sergey Sirotkin the opening Friday session. Robert would be amongst the
first out with a mix of soft and medium tyres been used. The second Williams
would also complete its installation lap also on the medium tyre. The first
times would be set with Vandoorne going quickest with a 1m:22.529. Others
would go quicker with Raikkonen fastest with a 1m:20.336 on the soft tyre.
He would improve with a 1m:20.262 followed by Alonso and Vandoorne.
Hamilton was able to move to the top of the times with a 1m:18.997 running
on the soft tyre. But Bottas would go quicker with a 1m:18.703. Third was
now Raikkonen followed by Vettel, Alonso, Ricciardo, Vandoorne, Verstappen,
Grosjean and Gasly in tenth. Vettel would move into third. The track was
seeing quite a few drivers spinning including Bottas, Vettel, Hartley, and
Grosjean. Bottas would improve with a 1m:18.695 with Hamilton second
followed by Ricciardo, Vettel, Alonso, and Verstappen 6th. But Ricciardo
would go into the barriers bringing out the Virtual Safety Car with under an
Currently the Williams cars were 18th and 19th with Robert leading Lance.
The Mercedes cars were well ahead of the rest of the field leading by over a
second with an empty track. With forty minutes remaining drivers would start
to return to the track with Bottas improving with a 1m:18.441 to be quickest
by 0.5. Several other drivers were running on the supersoft tyre while for
Williams the session was going far from well. There would be a Virtual
Safety Car period which would end with the removal of Lance's car after his
spin. Bottas would improve with a 1m:18.148 to be 0.8 ahead of Hamilton. As
the session progressed it would be Bottas leading from Hamilton, Vettel,
Verstappen, Raikkonen, Alonso, Ricciardo, Grosjean, Vandoorne and Gasly
tenth. They would remain in this order with the end of the session. The
Williams drivers would finish slowest.
Lance would wait until the track was quite clear before coming out for his
installation laps also using the medium tyre. Lance would also come out on
the supersoft tyre for his first run. He would set a 1m:24.077 to be behind
his team-mate. After a short run Lance would pit but he would return still
on the supersoft tyre. Lance would complete a short run prior to pitting
again. Lance would return to the track still running on new supersoft tyres.
Lance would improve with a 1m:22.756 but he was still down the times in
18th. Lance would say that he could not believe how bad the balance is.
Lance would spin at Turn five just missing the wall. He was not able to
continue getting out of his car. His car would start the journey back to the
pits as the Virtual Safety car was deployed. Lance was now slowest and not
able to return to the track.
Robert would make his return in his first F1 session for many years running
on medium tyres for his installation lap. He would pit after a single lap.
Robert would return running on the supersoft tyre. He would set a 1m:24.278
on what was a fairly slow lap. Robert would improve with a 1m:23.386 then a
1m:23.259. Robert was currently 6th but as the session progressed he would
drop to 17th and he would pit. He would return but would pit again having
completed nine laps. Robert had been running with various upgrades but still
had an old floor. So with his stop the mechanics would start to switch his
car to the new floor. Robert would also come back out also staying on the
Robert would spin at Turn 13 but he was able to continue. After the end of
the Virtual Safety Car period Robert would continue his run and was able to
set a 1m:22.205 to move ahead of his team-mate. This would be followed by a
1m:21.510 to be eighteenth. He would drop to 19th. Robert would pit briefly
but would come out again still on the supersoft tyre. He would pit with the
end of the session.